Archive for June, 2011

Dear Artist,

Getting from contact to collector is a four-step process. If you learn the four-step process and implement it in your daily life you will be rewarded by financial success in the world of art.

O.K., plain and simple, here we go:


Who is a contact? Everyone you meet.

What do you do when you meet a contact? Exchange information.

Always carry business cards. Make the cards attractive so that people will want to keep them. Make the words large enough to read. Just the important information: Your name, title (Artist or Art Dealer) phone number, and email address. Do not bother with a fax number (fax machines are almost obsolete anyway – use email) Get the contact’s information as well. Carry a few 3” x 5” note cards to write down the person’s name, phone number, and email. Tell your new contact that would you like to invite them to art shows. Even if you are not currently exhibiting in a gallery, you might someday, or you might be involved in some other art show. Assure them that you will not send them lots of emails or share the information with anyone else. If they are not willing to give you their information, be polite and move on, people who buy art are generally willing to be on artist and gallery mailing lists.

Where and when can you meet contacts? Everywhere and anytime, but the best places are outdoor art festivals, any sort of business networking meeting, and non-profit charity events. Never solicit clients in someone else’s gallery, even if you’re showing in that gallery, ESPECIALLY if you’re showing in that gallery.

Why do you have to do this? Because placing ads, and mailing postcards just isn’t enough, you need to make human contact in order to make a living in the world of art. You need to go to networking meetings and various events. You need to smile, mingle and talk, exchange information, tell them it was a pleasure to meet them, shake hands, move on, and begin again, smile, mingle and talk …


A prospect is a contact who has exchanged information with you. You must contact your prospect once a month. Make up a reason; you have a new work of art you want to show them, you want to invite them to your studio, you want to offer them a free art consultation in their home. You have an event coming up, you want to invite them and you want to know if they will be in town. Maybe you are offering prints of certain pieces that you weren’t printing before and you would like to show them. Perhaps you’re teaching art and you want to let them know when the next session will be held.

Always send an email first and then telephone them the following day to ask them if they go the email. If they emailed you back after receiving the first email, call them with you answer anyway – make it short, don’t keep them too long on the phone. Be creative, think of a good reason for you to email and call. ALWAYS ask, “Is there a specific wall that you’re looking to fill right now, or are you looking to make any art changes in your home or office?” Sounds a little pushy doesn’t it? Well do it anyway, it works. The sales will come if you keep at it.


You and your prospect have a good relationship, you email and talk to each other for a couple of minutes once a month, and now guess what? They tell you they do need something for their dining room wall and they ask you to come take a look. Don’t forget things at the studio, this might be your only chance with this prospect. Bring only the art that they were interested in, maximum 4 pieces. Too many pieces and they won’t buy anything because it’s too confusing and it takes too long. Bring a measuring tape, a pencil, a hammer, and professional hooks and nails, make sure your art is wired or has proper D-rings. You will need a notebook to make calculation regarding hanging, or to make notes about what they want. Bring a receipt book, a calculator, and a pen. Be prepared to make a sale. Sometimes they will come to your studio, but sales are more certain if you are in their home. Your prospect becomes your client when you make your first sale to them.


Never call to ask if they like the art they bought, that’s unnecessary and dangerous. Instead wait seven days, and then send a thank you note. The note should read something like, Thank you for purchasing Misty Afternoon, I truly appreciate your business. Sincerely, (and sign you name) Again, do not write I hope you like it or anything that opens up a conversation that you might not want to get into. One month later begin your email and phone calls again. They may buy a second, a third, and even more pieces of art from you. If someone buys 3 pieces you can definitely call them a collector.

Remember, it’s your job to maintain a relationship with your clients and collectors. Art is the artist’s top priority, seldom in the top ten list of priorities of art buyers. When a buyer does want another piece of art, they are more likely to buy art from whomever is contacting them at that particular time.

Best regards,
Gloria Gales


Bobbie Carlyle, The Blue Scarf, Bronze 32"x22"x12"


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